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SEC Announces Pay Versus Performance Proposal

On April 29, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced the long-awaited proposal to disclose the relationship between executive pay and a company’s financial performance (the Pay to Performance Proposal)....more

Structure Your Start-up For Fundraising Success - Part Four: Sign up your employees and contractors

If you’ve determined that your new venture is going to require outside investment, there are a number of things you can do to make your company more attractive to investors...more

Blog: With Two Dissents, SEC Proposes Pay-For-Performance Disclosure Rules

Wednesday, by a three to two margin, the SEC voted to propose rules requiring companies to disclose executive pay for performance. The proposal comes five years after passage of Dodd-Frank, which imposed the obligation on the...more

Proxy Access Week of April 19

During the week of April 19, 2015, 8-Ks were filed that disclosed two proxy access proposals passed and four failed. All required three percent ownership for three years and all were opposed by the company. Details are as...more

Structure your start-up for fundraising success - Part Two: Organize your corporate records

If you’ve determined that your new venture is going to require outside investment, there are a number of things you can do to make your company more attractive to investors....more

Cultivating a Culture of Compliance eBook

A strong ethical culture is the foundation of a successful compliance program. It is also among the most difficult program elements to define, establish, and maintain over time. Produced by Compliance Week in cooperation...more

SEC Enforcement Gives Employers a Strong Incentive to Clarify That Their Confidentiality Agreements Do Not Preclude Reporting...

The Securities and Exchange Commission? (“SEC”) has resolved its first enforcement action regarding a potentially overreaching confidentiality agreement following the “voluntary” revision of the agreement to state that it...more

Federal agencies attack employment agreements, and what you can do about it: 8 steps to consider

The US Securities and Exchange Commission recently caused shockwaves when it announced its first enforcement action against a company for using an allegedly improper confidentiality agreement during internal investigations....more

IRS Addresses Interaction of Performance Compensation and $1M Compensation Deduction Cap

The IRS recently issued final regulations under Section 162(m), which limits a public company’s deduction of executive compensation in excess of $1M.  The Section 162(m) limits do not apply to performance-based compensation...more

Beware of Confidentiality Agreements with Employees; Make Sure They Don’t Stifle Whistleblowing

On April 1, 2015, the SEC announced its first enforcement action against a company for utilizing language in a confidentiality agreement which could discourage whistleblowing....more

A Phantom Menace for IPO Companies - US Tax Regulations Restrict the Use of Restricted Stock Units

Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code (“Section 162(m)”) provides for a $1 million dollar limitation on the amount of compensation paid to each of certain named executive officers that public companies may deduct in any...more

Seller of Business is Special Circumstance That Justified Termination Following Expiration of Contract

When a small business is sold, the purchaser often agrees to hire the former owner. The buyer wants to retain the seller’s expertise and experience, and the salary paid to the seller can make up part of the purchase price....more

SEC Targets Confidentiality Agreements That Stifle Whistle-Blowing

On April 1, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced its first enforcement action and settlement against a company for violations of the whistleblower protection provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act...more

House Bill 58, Alabama Jobs Act, Gives State Jobs Tax Credit and Capital Investment Credit

HB58, one of five bills that constitute what has been described as the most significant overhaul of Alabama economic development since Mercedes-Benz came to the state, became law on Friday, April 3 (effective July 2). The...more

Starting a New Company? Protect Your Intellectual Property Now or Maybe Never

When getting a startup off the ground and in the course of ongoing operations, it is important to take care of some fundamental housekeeping matters. The failure to do so can result in problems that could be costly and/or...more

UK Update - Whistleblowing: When is a disclosure made in the public interest?

In Chestertons –v– Nurmohamed, the Employment Appeal Tribunal has given the first appellate guidance on when a worker’s disclosure is made in the public interest, so as to attract whistleblower protection....more

SEC Says Employer's Confidentiality Agreement Violates Dodd-Frank

Employers paying severance to separated employees usually require written release agreements that include a confidentiality provision. The employee is prohibited from disclosing the existence of the agreement, or from...more

Three Thoughts about the SEC’s First “Pretaliation” Case

I was on a flight last Wednesday when the SEC released the first of what whistleblower chief Sean McKessy has dubbed “pretaliation” cases against KBR, Inc. When I landed I had several emails from colleagues, asking, “Did you...more

Employer’s confidentiality agreement triggers SEC action and penalty - review and revise agreements now

Consistent with its prior announcements that it will protect and encourage whistleblowers, the SEC recently announced its “first enforcement action” against a company for using allegedly restrictive language in an agreement...more

Carefully Draft NDAs to Avoid Whistleblower Concerns

In light of the SEC’s first enforcement action against a company for impeding whistleblower activity in violation of Rule 21F-17, employers may wish to consider clarifying in their agreements, policies and practices that...more

Do Your Confidentiality and Employment Agreements Violate SEC Whistleblower Protection Rules?

As the SEC takes aim at whistleblower “pretaliation” (attempts to muzzle whistleblowers via confidentiality and other employment agreements—overt or otherwise) ethics and compliance officers need to take practical steps to...more

SEC Cracks Down On Employment Agreements That Stifle Corporate Whistleblowers

On April 1, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) gave a boost to corporate whistleblowers, reaching its first settlement with a company accused of stifling whistleblowing activity through the use of...more

"SEC Enforces Whistleblower Protection Rule Against Restrictive Confidentiality Agreement"

On April 1, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its first enforcement action against a company for a restrictive provision in confidentiality agreements that could deter employees from using the...more

IRS Releases Amended Section 162(m) Regulations Clarifying How to Preserve the Deductibility of Certain Compensation for Public...

The Internal Revenue Service recently amended the regulations under Internal Revenue Code Section 162(m). Section 162(m) applies to publicly held companies and generally limits the tax deduction that a public company is...more

SEC Charges KBR, Inc. with Using a Confidentiality Agreement that Could "Chill" Whistleblowing

About six months ago, the Director of the Office of the Whistleblower warned that the SEC was “going to bring a case where somebody has asked an employee or forced an employee to sign a document that in order of substance...more

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